Posts Tagged ‘dna exoneration’

ROCKFORD — “It’s breathtaking. Oh my goodness,” a Rockford man said after emerging from the Winnebago County Jail into the sunshine this afternoon after more than 23 years behind bars for a murder he and his supporters maintain he didn’t commit.John Horton Jr., 40, was convicted of the 1993 murder of Arthur Castaneda in Rockford. Horton was 17 years old when Castaneda was fatally shot during a robbery at a McDonald’s restaurant, located at that time at 2715 Charles St. He was sentenced

Source: John Horton of Rockford free after more than 2 decades in prison

Cornelius Dupree Jr. served 30 years in prison before his conviction was overturned on Jan. 4, 2011, based on DNA evidence. Cory Session is the brother of Timothy Cole and the policy director for the Innocence Project of Texas.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the government taking away people’s freedoms, which both of us know about firsthand.

One of us, Cornelius Dupree, was arrested in 1979 for rape and aggravated robbery at the age of 19. Last week, after serving 30 years in prison, the courts finally admitted they had made a mistake after DNA testing proved this to be a wrongful conviction. And Cory Session had the unfortunate experience of seeing his brother branded the “Tech Rapist” and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Timothy Cole served 13 years before he died of an asthma attack in 1999 – in prison. After the real rapist confessed to Session’s mother, DNA testing proved Tim was innocent, and he was officially exonerated in 2009. Gov. Rick Perry pardoned Tim last year.

While both of us have every right to be angry with the government for the years that were stolen from us and our families, instead we’re focused on making sure that other people aren’t wrongfully convicted. Unfortunately, so far the state of Texas has done next to nothing to prevent wrongful convictions and improve the reliability of our justice system, despite the fact that it leads the nation in DNA exonerations. We are outraged that Texas has spent countless taxpayer dollars building prisons and incarcerating 155,000 people a year but has failed to adequately invest in essential procedures to protect the rights and safety of our citizens – or at least ensure that we only send guilty people to prison.

via Cornelius Dupree Jr. and Cory Session: Preventing miscarriages of justice | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Opinion: Viewpoints.

By IBTimes Reporter | January 7, 2011 12:47 PM EST

A Texas man has been exonerated by a Dallas County Judge when DNA evidence proved he was wrongly convicted in connection with a 1979 Dallas rape, robbery and abduction case.

On Tuesday, Judge Don Adams told Cornelius Dupree, Jr., 51, “You’re free to go” after DNA testing supported Dupree’s claim of innocence.

Dupree and another man, Anthony Massingill, 49, were convicted in connection with the December 1979 case in which a man and woman were abducted at gunpoint at a liquor store on Dolphin Road near Interstate 30. The woman was sexually assaulted by the two men who had hijacked their car.

Shortly thereafter, Dupree and Massingill, who were on their way to a party, were picked up by the police two miles from the abduction site because police thought they matched the description of a different rape and robbery that had occurred the previous day. At the time of arrest, Massingill was found in possession of a gun.

According to Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, a New York legal center that specializes in wrongful conviction cases and represented Dupree, both Dupree and Massingill were misidentified in a photo lineup by the victim. Her male companion, who also was robbed, did not pick out either man when showed the same photo lineup.

Scheck said both men were in the same lineup, which is now against best practices used by law enforcement.

via DNA test shows Texas man who served 30 years in rape and robbery case is innocent.